Thursday, August 23, 2007


Today morning started with ghost stories. First it was my friend relating this harrowing story and then my colleague joins in and tells us another. Then I reminded them hey isn’t today the start of the Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival? Hhehe what a day to tell ghost stories huh?

Anyway few hours later while I was sitting alone in my office room, I suddenly hear this weird sound. It sounded like someone was wailing. It was one of the eeriest sounds I’ve ever heard and there I was sitting alone in this quiet office room. I decided not to panic and walked out of the room to investigate. The sounds were getting stronger and my colleague had the same look on her face. What the hell was that sound?

It turned out to be the sound of the wind howling. It was raining so heavily outside that we could hear the wind inside the building – sure gave us a fright ;p

When you end up living in a multiracial society you don’t only share food and festivals, even superstitions are shared. Today (if i'm not mistaken) marks the beginning of the Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival. According to the Chinese this is the day hell’s gate opens and the ghost wander earth for a month. And to appease these souls, prayers, food and entertainment is held throughout the month.

You’ll suddenly find huge effigies placed in wide open spaces where a concert will be taking place. When I was younger it used to be Chinese opera songs, now the ghosts are entertained with modern Chinese pop songs where singers wear dazzling sequined dresses. The interesting part of the festival is normally the front row seats are reserved for the ghosts.

I used to live next to this huge field which was normally the centre for the ghost concerts in our area. So the moment they started putting up the tents you knew what was coming. It’s quite entertaining and colourful.

When I was younger while Chinese parents were telling their children to be extra careful, not to touch or disturb the offerings placed by the side of the roads, our mothers (non Chinese) would be telling us the same. And since I was the eldest (ghosts love the eldest children don’t ask me why) we were given strict warnings to be home by 7 pm or else the ghost will haunt us ;p

I remember as a kid of rushing home with my brother and our neighbour (Chinese kid who was older than me) before 7 that we wont be caught by the ghosts. We’d be happily playing around the neighbourhood, cycling the alleys when the azan (muslim call to mark the prayer times) will be sounded and we’d rush home coz the azan was at magrib is normally around 7pm and if we weren’t home on time both our mothers would be waiting outside for an hour long lecture. Try getting scolding not only from your mom but also the neighbour aunty. Not fun ok!


Art said...

this is interesting... Never knew such a thing existed..

whAt A LiFe said...

Hey, interesting topic that u have shared. Sometimes, its just scary to even think of it when u r alone.

Nice blog ; )

Jeevan said...

now also u head home before 7
If not ghost only. Boo....

simon said...

ouch, shouldnt read ghost stories around midnight! And it's tonight!

tulipspeaks said...

visi, do u blv in existance of ghosts? not asking in a sarcastic manner coz i'm a believer. just curious :)


visithra said...

art : yeah theres a lot of interesting stuff everywhere

what a life : welcome here ;)

the trick is not to think about it ;p

jeevan : hehehe nah my mom calls me a ghost ;p

simon : hehehe oooh so did u get haunted? ;p

ammu : actually i do - have photographed one bfr so ;)

Orange Fronkey said...

Hehehe... Hey Visithra, I think you've been in my blog once, or maybe I saw your comment on Balaji's blog... Anyways... Currently unemployed and extremely bored, I was going through my regular fave bloggers list to see if I can find colorful photographers for a colorful treat for my eyes and I ventured upon yours... Beautiful photos you got here and interesting postings too... This in particular caught me because I've become a Asian horror flick addict... I've fed my mind about lot of the Chinese superstitions through googling and through having Asian friends... It cracked me up with the wind bit... and I think the Chinese culture adn their ideas are fascinating... I think it would be thrilling to go on with their thing such as going along wtih the superstition... lol... Man I think I was born in the wrong country! =P.
I'm gona blogroll you.. lol. Take care

Orange Fronkey said...

P.S - Ran into a pontianak yet? LOL

visithra said...

orange : lol we're already flickr friends arent we ;p heh replying old comments does have its pros ;p

how did u become a asian horror flick adict ?

lol u were born in the wrong country ;p hehehe

nooooooooooooooooooo i havent ;p